The Heritage Lottery Fund has announced that £20 million will be funelled into its Landscape Partnership schemes. The Landscape Partnership brings together members of the community as well as local, regional, and national organisations to deliver schemes that benefit some of the UK’s most outstanding landscapes and rural communities.
The Heritage Lottery Fund has invested a total of £132m in 83 different areas to date, as well as £392m to 3,126 natural heritage projects, and is currently supporting the 13 areas below; ensuring people are better equipped to tackle the needs of their local landscapes.
Ouse Washes LP, Cambridgeshire
Stretching from Downham Market in West Norfolk to Fen Drayton Lakes in South Cambridgeshire, these reserves are vital to the distribution of water in the region. Promoting the landscape as a tourist destination and encouraging people to learn more about management and conservation for the future are at the heart of this scheme.
Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks LP
Made up of coniferous forest, grass heath and agricultural land, this area is one of the driest in the country and is home to a number of rare species such as the Spanish Catchfly plant and brush-thighed seed-eater beetle. Having suffered socially and economically, the area will benefit from opportunities to help local people learn and care more about it in the future.
Nevis LP, Fort William
A popular tourist destination teeming with species and archaeological sites; this scheme will not only conserve the famous landscape but also get local communities involved with managing it more effectively.
Inner Forth LP, Central Scotland
Many natural resources and important areas for wildlife are found here as well as a number of ancient monuments and historic properties. Being in a densely populated and deprived area, the scheme hopes to get the surrounding communities much more enthused about the stewardship of their local heritage.
Dartmoor LP, Devon
Due to its well-preserved archaeology, rare wildlife and habitats (Marsh fritillary butterfly; Blanket bog; Ancient Oak woodland), Dartmoor is one of the UK’s most popular visitor destinations. This scheme aims to focus on environmental history from 4000 years ago, whilst conservation work will take place over 280km², encouraging the local community to take part.
Lower Severn Vale LP, Gloucestershire –£1,115,500 set aside in first-round pass, including £98,300 development funding
Covering 173km² of floodplain north-west of Bristol, this scheme involves conserving the Lower Severn Vale Levels and promoting awareness of it, which will create new areas of wetland for European waterfowl and help revive traditional local practices such as cider and cheese making and the raising of salt marsh lamb. Schools will get involved through classroom workshops and field days.
River Tees LP, County Durham
This five-year scheme covers 120km² of the distinctive River Tees corridor to help reconnect local people to the river’s history as a major trade route, giving much better access to the landscape.
Allen Valleys LP, North Pennines AONB
These two valleys are distinctive for their peat lands, ancient woodlands, hay meadows and abandoned industrial heritage. Putting the area’s natural and cultural heritage assets at the heart of the community will hopefully lead to boosting the local economy.
Ring of Gullion LP, Newry and Mourne
South Armagh’s Ring of Gullion is the product of millions of years’ worth of turbulent geological activity and one of the best examples of a ring dyke in the UK. The project involves training people in local heritage skills, teaching the younger generation about the area’s culture and history and conserving features that have been neglected in the past.
Tame Valley Wetlands LP, Warwickshire and Staffordshire
From Tamworth in the north to Coleshill in the south, this project follows the linear feature of the River Tame and its alluvial floodplain corridor, a key migratory route for wetland birds. The scheme involves the creation of a wetland landscape, restoration of the river and floodplain, and making it better appreciated and easier to access with features such as the Tame Way, a pedestrian and cycle route running from Tamworth to Castle Bromwich. Much-needed training opportunities will be put into place to help alleviate a lack of employment and skills in the area.
Dearne Valley LP, South Yorkshire
Dearne Valley has a fascinating past but has suffered greatly due to rapid de-industrialisation, particularly the loss of the coal mining industry. The area has a comprehensive range of built, natural and cultural heritage and this scheme aims to enhance and reconnect people with them, focusing on the unifying theme of industrial heritage. Complementing this conservation work will be a programme of community outreach, including oral history, exhibitions, workshops and festivals. A community forum will help energise existing and new volunteers with the aim of involving people in the development and implementation of the scheme.
Upper Nidderdale LP, Yorkshire
This dramatic upland valley landscape is characterised by moorland, drystone walls and grit stone farmsteads and barns. It is internationally important for its flora and fauna, such as the Elephant Hawk Moth, and also has a large population of breeding upland birds, including merlin, curlew and golden plover, as well as vast reserves of peat. Training in local heritage skills is a highlight of the scheme and includes: training days; practical skills courses for schools; upland management apprenticeships for young people; and landowner training days.
Saltscape LP, Cheshire
This three-year scheme will conserve and open up the natural habitats of the Weaver Valley and its surrounding towns that are steeped in the history of the salt industry. Plans include looking after ancient woodlands and grazing meadows along with restoration work to locks and toll buildings. Volunteering will be a key element of the project with training delivered by staff from Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the National Waterways Museum.
Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of HLF, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund’s Landscape Partnerships are helping change the way people think about and care for some of the UK’s most spectacular scenery. We’re very proud of this ground breaking funding programme and we plan to continue to build on its achievements in the coming years. Many people have become disconnected from the natural world, particularly those of us living in urban areas, so these partnerships are designed to conserve, celebrate and share the importance of landscapes in all their magnificent diversity.”
Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary, commented: “These thirteen excellent projects will complement conservation work already taking place in our Nature Improvement Areas, restoring wildlife habitats and safeguarding the natural environment for generations to come.”